Policy Updates 2020
Updated: Aug 27, 2020
State ballot measures
Colorado voters will see at least 10 measures (with up to 11) on their ballots in November. Three of them are referred measures put on the ballot by a two-thirds vote of the state legislature. For initiatives requiring signatures to qualify, the deadline for submitting signatures was August 3. Signatures are still being reviewed for one proposed initiative on local control of gaming initiatives. Confirmed initiatives as of August 25 include tobacco/vape tax, national popular vote, reintroduction of gray wolves, ban on abortions at 22 weeks, Gallagher Amendment repeal, state income tax rate reduction, citizenship qualification of electors, bingo raffle rule changes, a voter approval requirement for creation of fee-based enterprises, and paid family and medical leave (qualified late Tuesday afternoon).
The Denver Post has put together a great succinct summary of each measure here.
Recent articles on specific measures include:
Colorado paid family and medical leave measure qualifies for November ballot (Denver Post)
Measure to let Coloradans vote on fee-based programs qualifies for November ballot (Denver Post)
Colorado tax-cut proponents and paid family leave supporters alike are counting on high voter turnout (Denver Post)
Gov. Jared Polis praises Republican-backed ballot question to lower Colorado income taxes (Colorado Sun)
State legislative races
As a reminder Frontline staff have put together a full candidate list (attached again for convenience). Reach out to us if you have any questions or need any additional information related to this. Here’s a recent article on some of Colorado’s most competitive districts, Republican candidates talk balance, not Trump (CPR 8/24/20)
Mental Health Practice Act Sunset HB20-1206 implementation
This past legislative session the Mental Health Practice Act Sunset bill, HB20-1206 passed and became law on July 14, 2020. This bill continues the regulation of mental health professionals until 2029. Professions impacted by this bill include Addiction Counselors, Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Psychotherapists, Social Workers, and Professional Counselors. For additional information on the bill, review the Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Affairs (DORA)’s fact sheet here. DORA is moving into its regulatory process of implementing this bill with several upcoming rulemaking hearings. DORA’s calendar of rulemaking is posted here. You can also sign-up to receive rulemaking updates by signing up here.
Women’s Foundation of Colorado seeking feedback on their new Women & Girls of Color Fund
This fall, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado will launch a Women & Girls of Color Fund and is seeking community feedback to develop the fund. You can find more information about the fund as well as a very brief survey at www.wfco.org/WGCF. WFCO hopes that you will take the survey and share it widely with your networks across the state to help them gather as many community voices as possible. While the survey will remain open throughout the fall, WFCO would appreciate responses by September 1. WFCO is excited about how transformational this fund could be for Colorado communities and appreciates your partnership! If you have questions about the fund, please contact Camisha Lashbrook at email@example.com.
August is Black Philanthropy Month
Lauren Y. Casteel, president and CEO of The Women’s Foundation of Colorado wrote this opinion article in the Colorado Sun “Celebrating Black philanthropy in August and beyond”
Colorado COVID-19 Emergency Hunger Relief Fund to open for new funding round on Aug. 27
The fund will reopen on Aug. 27 and remain open through Sept. 8. Access to application materials will be available here starting on Aug. 27 .
9/10 Briefing from The Colorado Health Foundation: Poll Takes Pulse of Coloradans’ Experiences
The Colorado Health Foundation is hosting a webinar briefing on the results of a new poll of 1,800 Coloradans. This is also the launch of Pulse: The Colorado Health Foundation Poll, an annual statewide look at the priorities, perspectives and experiences of Coloradans. Date: Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020 Time: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Register here
Resource worth repeating
Help thousands of Colorado kids access P-EBT
The Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) application is now live. There are still tens of thousands of children in Colorado who are eligible for this benefit who have not yet applied. For more information on the program, please visit the state website at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs/p-ebt. In addition, please utilize the P-EBT Marketing Toolkit to share widely with your communities and encourage families to apply. The application is simple and does not impact public charge.
What we are reading
COVID-19 outbreak interactive graphic from weekly state health department outbreak reports – titled Shifting Hotspots show Progress, Challenges (Colorado Health Institute)
Michele Lueck: Blame our system for our COVID failures, not public health workers - Michele Lueck, CEO of the Colorado Health Institute, penned an opinion column for the Colorado Sun on August 12, stating that Colorado’s decades of underfunding of public health and upstream investments in health contribute to Colorado’s response to the pandemic.
Shelter amid COVID, A Colorado Politics Roundtable on the current housing challenge
The Colorado Health Institute (CHI), in partnership with The Colorado Health Foundation, has launched a new update to the Root Causes website that allows users to explore how the factors associated with mental health change over time. Root Causes: Tracing How Social and Economic Life in Colorado Communities Affects Mental Health is a dynamic and robust tool that allows users to explore the connections among mental health and housing, income inequality, racial segregation, and other social factors. New features launched this week build upon the site’s interactive maps and dashboards to allow users to explore how the factors associated with mental health can change over time.
Colorado’s red flag gun law was used 73 times in its first 7 months. Here’s how the rollout has gone (Colorado Sun)
Nurses Are on the Virus Front Lines. But Many Schools Don’t Have One. (New York Times 8/20/20)
Substance Use Treatment/Telehealth
The pandemic moved some substance treatment services online in Colorado — possibly permanently (Colorado Sun)